WWE Smackdown is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this week. Lillian Garcia introduces Sheamus to the ring at the start of the show. Sheamus talks about Alberto Del Rio who will be Sheamus’s opponent at No Way Out. David Otunga’s music interrupts Sheamus and Otunga enters the ring. Otunga shows the video of Sheamus bumping into John Laurinaitis on RAW two weeks ago. Otunga wants Sheamus to apologize for bumping into Johnny. Sheamus says that if Otunga orders Sheamus to do something, Otunga’s coffee cup will be up his arse. Sheamus tells Otunga that Johnny needs to come to the ring and ask for an apology right to Sheamus’s face. Otunga says Sheamus may be the whitest bulb, but Sheamus is not the brightest bulb. Haha…that’s a good one! Otunga gets interrupted by Alberto Del Rio’s music. Del Rio drives his car into the arena. Del Rio calls Sheamus a peasant and a street hooligan. Del Rio says people like Sheamus end up working for people like Del Rio and Otunga. Del Rio says he will be the new World Heavyweight Champion after No Way Out. Otunga says Sheamus’s opponent tonight will be chosen by Alberto Del Rio. Sheamus says he is sorry, but he is not sorry for what he did to John Laurinaitis. Sheamus then hits Otunga with the Brogue Kick. Del Rio quickly escapes the ring so Sheamus doesn’t kick him too. Sheamus says he meant he was sorry for what he was about to do to Otunga. That was an average segment and didn’t get me more excited for Sheamus vs. Del Rio at No Way Out. I’m more interested in the Sheamus-Johnny storyline than the Sheamus-Del Rio storyline.

Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater

It’s nice to see Sin Cara back. Sin Cara won this match and he used most of his signature moves. I think Sin Cara is fun to watch, but he does the same moves every match. This match looked a lot like the matches he had before he was injured. I hope Sin Cara gets involved in a real feud soon against someone who is not a jobber like Heath Slater. There are other ways to push superstars besides having them defeat jobbers.

Winner: Sin Cara

Rating: *3/4

Smackdown advertises CM Punk vs. Kane for the WWE Championship for later tonight. Maybe CM Punk will finally be in the main event. It’s been awhile since the last time he was in the main event on WWE TV.

Damien Sandow vs. Ezekiel Jackson

Before the match, Sandow tries to cancel the match but Ezekiel stops Damien from leaving the ring. Sandow wins the match with his neckbreaker finishing move. Wow…does this mean Ezekiel Jackson is a jobber now or is Sandow getting a strong push? I think it’s both. That’s an impressive win for Sandow. I wasn’t expecting him to win so quickly and easily against the former Intercontinental Champion. Good win for Sandow, but the match ended too quickly for me to enjoy it.

Winner: Damien Sandow

Rating: NR (No Rating)

In the locker room, Dolph Ziggler tells Alberto Del Rio that he wants to face Sheamus tonight. Del Rio says Ziggler has something in his eyes and he likes Ziggler’s passion. Del Rio says Ziggler will face Sheamus tonight.

Ryback vs. Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons

Another jobber handicap match?! What are they going to do next week? Three jobbers vs. Ryback? The opponents change every week, but the matches are the same. We can’t have a Ryback match without jobbers getting mic time and the two jobbers cut one of the worst promos in Smackdown history. I hope they were trying to suck on the mic on purpose. Ryback makes his entrance, enters the ring, and easily defeats the jobbers. I think this match was longer than two minutes, but that was only because Ryback took his time. He could have won this match in under 30 seconds if he wanted too, but Ryback had to hit all of his signature moves. Ryback even did the exact same finisher as last week which was slamming both jobbers at the same time. That finisher was awesome last week, but why do it two weeks in a row? I think Ryback’s matches are fun to watch, but I want to see something new. I’m excited about Ryback’s potential, but beating jobbers every week is not impressive anymore. Ryback needs a new challenge and I hope it’s not a three-on-one jobber match. No more jobber matches please! The matches are fun to watch, but I want to see what Ryback can do against talented WWE Superstars.  I’m starting to wonder if Ryback’s entire gimmick is just a jobber squasher and nothing more.

Winner: Ryback

Rating: NR

Smackdown shows the RAW Rebound. It is a video of Big Show’s promo and main event attack of Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth from last Monday’s RAW.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

Sheamus won this match with the Brogue Kick. This was a good match. It fell a little bit short of my expectations, but I enjoyed Sheamus vs. Ziggler a lot more than Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger from last week.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: **3/4

Matt Striker interviews CM Punk backstage. CM Punk talks about John Laurinaitis and Kane. CM Punk ends his promo by saying that the Best in the World will make the Devil’s Favorite Demon go to sleep.

Titus O’Neil and Darren Young vs. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder

O’Neil and Young are now referring to themselves as the Primetime Players. That’s good because they deserve to have their own tag team name. Just over a minute after the match starts, Santino executes a roll-up pin on Darren Young and gets the three-count. Whoa…that surprised me. That win came out of nowhere because the Primetime Players were in control during the first minute of the match. That was one of the most unexpected finishes I have ever seen in the WWE. I did not see that coming at all.

Winners: Santino Marella and Zack Ryder

Rating: NR

After the match, Big Show comes out from the back and attacks Santino and Ryder. The attack was just as brutal as his attack on Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth. Big Show has destroyed five WWE Superstars this week, but I doubt he will defeat John Cena at No Way Out.

Backstage, AJ is wearing a CM Punk shirt and Daniel Bryan talks to her. Daniel Bryan says CM Punk doesn’t care about AJ and thinks she is a nutjob. AJ asks Daniel Bryan why he cares about what she does. Daniel Bryan says he doesn’t care, but he did once which is more than he can say for CM Punk.

Cody Rhodes vs. Tyson Kidd

Why is Tyson Kidd facing Cody Rhodes? Is Tyson Kidd a face now? By the way, Christian is a guest commentator during this match. Cody wins the match with Cross Rhodes. This could have been a good match if it wasn’t less than a minute and a half long.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Rating: NR

CM Punk’s music plays and it is time for the main event. Josh Matthews says that this is the first time in four years that the WWE Championship has been defended on Smackdown.

CM Punk vs. Kane

This great match ended after Daniel Bryan jumped off the top turnbuckle and kicked both CM Punk and Kane at the same time. I enjoyed this match a lot. The match had several great near-falls. Even though I knew CM Punk and Kane would kick out each time, both men timed the kick outs perfectly. They would kick out when the referee was inches away from slapping the mat for the third time. The near-fall after the CM Punk elbow drop would have been awesome if CM Punk had a history of winning several matches off that move. This match is definitely a Smackdown match of the year contender.

Winner: No Winner

Rating: ***3/4

After the match, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were fighting each other and then Kane chokeslammed both Punk and Bryan at the same time. John Laurinaitis came out from the back with Eve and announced that the WWE Championship will be defended in a triple threat match at No Way Out. I would have liked to see another Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk singles match at No Way Out, but Kane’s involvement probably makes it more likely that Daniel Bryan could win the WWE Championship and a Daniel Bryan win at No Way Out should extend the Bryan-Punk feud into Money in the Bank in July. I’m hoping that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have a long feud this year.

Matches to Watch: Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater, Damien Sandow vs. Ezekiel Jackson, Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young vs. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder, Cody Rhodes vs. Tyson Kidd, CM Punk vs. Kane

Matches to Skip: Ryback vs. Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons

Best Superstar of Smackdown: CM Punk

CM Punk had the best performance during the best match of the night. Kane had a good performance too, but the match wouldn’t have been one of the best matches I’ve seen on Smackdown this year without CM Punk.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Santino unexpectedly pinning Darren Young for a three-count

There were not a lot of great moments to choose from, but I enjoyed the finish of the tag team match. WWE can be very predictable and it was nice to see a surprise finish to a match. It reminded me of when The Kid (X-Pac) surprisingly defeated Razor Ramon on RAW in 1993.

This Smackdown was good. It was not a great Smackdown, but very few Smackdowns have been great this year so this was as good as I could hope for. Only two good matches, but the rest of the matches were interesting despite their short time lengths. For the second week in a row, the Divas don’t have a match. Also, what happened to Teddy Long and Antonio Cesaro? I think I would have enjoyed this Smackdown more if Daniel Bryan had a match and/or cut an in-ring promo so hopefully there will be more Daniel Bryan next week. I hope Smackdown brings CM Punk back next week because Smackdown is a better show when they have CM Punk.